Ever wished you could help the world by walking through fields of wildflowers taking pictures of butterflies?
Apply now to join Adventure Scientists’ Pollinators Project and collect valuable data in the backcountry for scientists and conservationists.
Despite the wide variety of alpine flora, each butterfly species tends to chose a single species of plant on which to feed and lay its eggs. Photo by NPS/Karlie RolandThe Issue at Hand
Butterflies comprise approximately 20,000 species globally. They serve as important biodiversity indicators for ecosystem health and provide food for many organisms such as migrating birds.
The vast majority of wild pollinator data is collected in close proximity to urban areas. Adventure Scientists has joined forces with the University of Arizona to establish the first large-scale backcountry dataset that identifies butterfly abundance, diversity, and distribution as well as host plant phases across remote portions of their ranges.
Once the data is processed and compiled, public land managers can use it to inform decisions about prescribed burning, protection of threatened species, and forest planning.
Volunteers navigate to specific areas of study using maps and apps such as Gaia GPS. Once there, they use the iNaturalist app to upload photos of the butterflies and host plants that they observe.
Acting Locally and Globally
Our Pollinators Project is composed of two efforts. In our Western U.S.-based project, volunteers are mobilized to collect data in pre-selected study sites across five states (Arizona, California, Utah, Montana, and Washington). In our global study, volunteers collect butterfly observations from remote sites of their choosing around the world.
We need adventurous volunteers for both of these projects. If you can hike to remote areas (at least a mile from a roadway) and capture clear photos of insects up close, you can help scientists and conservationists in this mission to better understand our world.
Your hikes can take you far–and take conservation even further.
Prefer flora to fauna? Check out our Timber Project.
More of a roadbike person? Our Wildlife Connectivity Project is calling.
Learn more about Adventure Scientists and the work we do around the world.